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Active ways to help the environment this month

With the weather finally warming up and trees and flowers coming back to life, it’s a great time to get active outside and do something for the environment. Here are some ideas for active ways to help the environment in your local area.

Hit the beach
With about 13,300 km of coastline in Nova Scotia, there’s no shortage of beaches to visit – and, unfortunately, no shortage of garbage to clean up while you’re there, either. Karen Jenner, who lives in the Annapolis Valley and documents her beach finds on Facebook, says she has picked up hundreds of thousands of pieces of garbage on the beach in the last five years.

Next time you’re headed to the shore, take along a garbage bag and see how much garbage you can collect before you leave, or consider getting in on the action with Scotian Shores, which organizes clean-up projects in Yarmouth and across the province.

Life is a highway…
…and the side of the highway is another place where all sorts of garbage collects. Chances are that you live near a busy road with ditches filled with debris. Why not work with your workplace, community group, school or even family to join the Adopt-a-Highway program? The provincial program supports volunteers who want to adopt a section of roadway for three years, holding two garbage pickups per year. If you’re not interested in such a long commitment, consider the Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up program instead.

Can you dig it?
While it’s tempting to get right back into the garden to clean up last season’s mess and start planting, pro gardeners recommend waiting a few weeks before you break out the trowels and spades. Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s not work to be done to support the bugs, birds and animals that share our outdoor spaces.

This is the perfect time to plan a pollinator-friendly garden for your yard, balcony or community garden plot and to get some seeds started. Planting trees is another great way to support the environment, and there are lots of programs available to support reforestation efforts, whether you’re interested in a planting a family woodlot or joining a one-day tree planting event in your community.

Be transported
Active transportation – walking or riding your bike instead of driving – is one way that individuals can make a big dent in their own carbon emissions. This Earth Day, why not take the time to update your pedestrian or bike safety knowledge then and commit to walking or riding for one commute per week?

Make it last
Finally, consider ways that you might be able to stop litter before it starts – whether that means making your own reusable shopping bags or shopping at a store that allows you to bring your own containers.

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